ASMFC HEARING ON STRIPED BASS – At 7 p.m. on Sept. 13, New Hampshire's hearing to gather public comment on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Draft Addendum II to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass will begin (also at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth). Atlantic coastal states from Maine to North Carolina have scheduled similar hearings. The Draft Addendum proposes two changes to the striped bass management program: (1) an increase in the coastal commercial quota, and (2) revising the definition of recruitment failure based on Technical Committee advice.
The proposal to increase the coastal commercial quota is intended to improve equality between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors. Although Amendment 6 established management programs for both fisheries based on the same target fishing mortality rate, the implementation of state-specific quotas for coastal commercial harvest (and not for recreational harvest) has prevented the commercial and recreational fisheries from responding equally to changes in striped bass population size. Since 2003, coastal commercial harvest has decreased by 3.6 percent, while recreational harvest has increased by 13.7 percent. Under the option, the Board would select a percent increase to be applied to the coastal commercial allocations assigned in Amendment 6.
The Management Board voted to include a second issue in the Draft Addendum. As part of its review of the juvenile abundance indices, the Striped Bass Technical Committee recommended to the Management Board a revision to how striped bass recruitment failure is defined.
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum, either by attending public hearings or providing written comments. The Draft Addendum can be obtained via the Commission's website at www.asmfc.org
under "Breaking News" or by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400. Public comment will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Oct. 1, and should be forwarded to Nichola Meserve, FMP Coordinator, 1444 Eye Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; 202-289-6051 (FAX) or at [email protected]
(Subject line: Striped Bass Addendum II).
For more information, contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator at 202-289-6400 or [email protected]
Directions to the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth: From Portsmouth Traffic Circle: Take the Route 1 Bypass South exit off circle. Merge with Route 1 and go through five traffic lights. Turn left at sixth light onto Elwyn Road.